Objectives: To study the cost of induced abortions (unsafe abortion) and treatment of the complications of such abortions.
Methods: Descriptive study was conducted between July, 2008 and December, 2008 in four tertiary care hospitals of Lahore: Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Wellingdon Hospital, General Hospital and Family Health Hospital of Family Planning Association of Pakistan. One hundred women admitted with complications of induced abortion were interviewed by lady doctors, who were trained to conduct the interviews. The data was collected through a structured pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire approved by International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Results: Based on the information provided by the woman and/or her husband and hospital sources, the average cost of abortion was Rs.1686/-. The cost varied from Rs. 500/- to 7,000/-depending on the city, type of provider and facilities available at the clinic. The average cost of treating the complications was Rs. 4,197/- ranging from Rs. 1600/- to Rs 45,000/-. At the present exchange rate (September, 2009), the cost will be US$ 20/- to 560/-. Wide variation between two extremes was due to the type and extent of complications.
Conclusion: Treatment for abortion-related complications consumes a large portion of hospital budgets for obstetrics and gynaecology and results in considerable mortality and morbidity. Due to restrictive laws and high cost of safe abortions, most women faced with an unwanted pregnancy resort to unsafe abortions.